Q1. What should a consumer keep in mind while purchasing a housing flat?
Ans.: Some of the factors to consider while purchasing a flat are:
a. Locality i.e. transport, schools, hospitals, market, business district, entertainment centers, hotels, restaurants, pollution levels
b. Quoted area of the flat i.e. Carpet, Built Up Area and super Built Up Area
c. Car parking space
d. Quality of construction
e. Reputation of the builder or seller
f. Sufficient water and electric supply, other utilities
g. Cost components: price, stamp duty, registration charges, transfer fees, monthly outgoings and society charges, costs of utilities
h. Potential for resale or renting out of the property
i. Any other distinguishing features or advantages of the property


Q2. Checklist for buying a residential property?
Ans.: a. Market Trends about prevalent rates of property in the vicinity and last known transactions

b. Ask for photocopies of the all deeds of title related to the property to be purchased. Examine the deeds to establish the ownership of the property by seller, preferably through an advocate. Ascertain the survey number, village and registration district of the property, as these details are required for registration of the sale. Previous encumbrances and loans, if any on the property must be cleared before completion of purchase of the property. The title of the Vendor to the property must be clear and marketable.

c. Check for approved layout plan and approved building plan with number of floors

d. Clearance from Municipality, Electricity, Water, Pollution, Lift authorities

e. Check the building bye-laws in that area to verify any issue with setback, side setback, height, etc

f. Confirm transfer fees, stamp duty and registration charges to be paid on purchase of the property as well as outgoings to be paid for the property i.e. property tax, water and electricity charges, society charges, maintenance charges.


Q3. Do NRI's require consent of Reserve Bank to buy immovable property in India?
Ans.: No. NRI's do not require any permission to buy any immovable property in India other than agricultural / plantation property or a farmhouse.


Q4. In what way the purchase consideration for the immovable property should be paid under the general permission?
Ans.: The purchase consideration should be met either out of inward remittances in foreign exchange through normal banking channels or out of funds from any non resident accounts maintained with banks in India.


Q5. Is there any limit on the number of housing properties that may be purchased by an NRI?
Ans.: There are no limits on the number of residential properties that may be bought by an NRI. However, repatriation (the process of converting a foreign currency into the currency of one’s own country) is allowed only in respect of two such properties.


Q6. What are the guiding principle for getting hold of agricultural land / plantation property / farmhouse by NRI’s and foreign citizens of Indian origin?
Ans.: All requests for purchase of agricultural land / plantation property / farm house by any person resident outside India may be made to The Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Exchange Control Department, Foreign Investment Division (III), Mumbai 400 001.




Q7. Can a home/land be sold without the permission of Reserve Bank?
Ans.: Yes. Reserve Bank has granted general permission for sale of property. However, where another foreign citizen of Indian origin purchases the property, funds towards the purchase consideration should either be remitted to India or paid out of balances in non-resident accounts maintained with banks in India.


Q8. Can sale proceeds of such property if and when sold be remitted out of India?
Ans.: In the event of sale of immovable property other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property in India by a NRI or PIO, the authorized dealer may allow repatriation of the sale proceeds outside India, provided all the following conditions are satisfied: -
The immovable property was acquired by the seller in accordance with the provisions of the Exchange Control Rules/Regulations/Law in force at the time of acquisition, or the provisions of the Regulations framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999;

NRIs/PIOs can effect remittance of sale proceeds of immovable property in India irrespective of the period for which the property was held. The sale proceeds allowed to be repatriated should, however, not exceed the foreign exchange brought in to acquire the said property.

In case of residential property, the repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to not more than two such properties, if the property was purchased from funds held in NRE Account.

The amount sought to be repatriated abroad should not exceed the amount paid for acquisition of the immovable property in the foreign exchange received through normal banking channels or out of funds held in FCNR or NRE Account. In case of investment out of NRE Account the amount to be calculated as foreign currency is equivalent value as on the date of payment for acquisition of the said property.